It was a victory for gun control backers in New York and Connecticut after the federal appeals court continued to uphold the key components of gun law, citing that the expanding definition of automatic and semiautomatic weapons don’t violate the Second Amendment.
Gun Laws Post-Newton Massacre
The rather controversial decision was passed just shortly after the discussions concerning the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn, which was a landmark case in itself that created some of the strictest gun laws in the country. It was challenged as unconstitutional by many groups, which included gun owners and firearm dealers.
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The appeals court, however, maintained that the stricter gun laws do not violate the Second Amendment or infringe on anyone’s rights, with the unanimous three-judge panel finding that the state’s interests in preventing mass-shootings outweigh the law’s burden on the Second Amendment, which protects American’s rights to own and carry guns.
Writing for the panel, Judge Jose A. Cabranes explained, “The prohibition of semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines does not effectively disarm individuals or substantially affect their ability to defend themselves.”
The broadened definition encompasses a range of automatic and semiautomatic weapons, including the AR-15 model that the shooter Adam Lanza used during the aforementioned massacre back in 2012. The broadened definition also includes guns with military-style features.
A Landmark Ruling
Judge Cabranes said that the new ruling is “just one step in a longer journey.” The retention of the broadened definition concerning automatic and semiautomatic weaponry joins the increasing number of provisions set to prevent gun violence from becoming widespread throughout the country. Earlier in April, the federal appeals court in Chicago upheld a law from Highland Park, Ill., that bands many semi-automatic weapons from being sold or kept as a primary firearm for households.
The ruling also struck an aspect of the New York Law; specifically, the provision that outlaws “feeding devices” that hold more than seven rounds of ammunition, as well as the rather controversial ban on Connecticut concerning the non-semiautomatic Remington 7615.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that he was “very pleased” with Monday’s ruling, with Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen calling the decision “gratifying” and a landmark ruling concerning the rather controversial issue of gun control.
Adam Lanza, the notorious Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, killed twenty children and six adults before committing suicide back in December 2012. The attack, which shocked the nation, was instrumental in sparking the ongoing political battle concerning gun control and gun violence.